Need lapband out.... questions

on 2/25/13 1:25 pm - Bend, OR


Just a brief intro for those who don't know me; I'm Laurie, 53 and I was banded in Oct of 2007. I used to hang out here a lot, but then I went back to college and did my undergrad and masters in counseling. In fact my thesis title was The Relationship of Childhood Trauma and Abnormal Eating Patterns in Adulthood. I think I have been fairly successful with my band, nowhere near goal like some of you, but I have felt healthy and successful. I started at 306ish and lost down to 211 a year ago, now back up to 230.


I love my band when it works, but that's the problem, when it works. I have had I think 3 slips; lots of unfills and refill; 1 fracture of my tubing; and now my port is flipped and I am slipped again. My PCP said it looks like a baseball on top and a golf ball on the bottom, on a flat plate. I had been thinking about a revision for months, since I was getting stuck more and more.  But in November ended up in the ER with extreme pain, I thought I was having a heart attack. ER did CT scan and x-rays, the full workup, but according to them there was nothing wrong except maybe acid reflux. Gave me pain pills, an IV of protonix and sent me home. I made an appointment with the surgeon who had been following me. She took one look at the CT scan and said you need the band out NOW! Well I talked her into waiting, since we had an out of town wedding, and she took all the fluid. So we started all the testing instead.


I now have everything done for revision except the EGD. Dr's office is working on insurance approval. I think the band may have slipped further, stuck on food twice last week, even though all my fluid is out.


Now for the questions # 1 I feel TERRIBLE! Don't know if its peri menopause or my slip, but I don’t feel much like eating, I'm cold, and EXHAUSTED, achy, headachy and so on. Those of you that have had a slip do any these symptoms sound familiar?


#2 Surgeon wants to do a bypass for me, I want a sleeve.  Her rationale is that the sleeve after lap band has a greater chance for a leak, since scar tissue formed from the band.  We have discussed this to a lot, and I truly think she wants the best for me.  (A friend of my sister and BIL).  She says she likes doing sleeves, they are her favorite, she is just worried about the leaks.  I finally asked if I can give her permission to decide when she gets in there based on the scar tissue, and anatomy issues.  Those of you who went from LB to sleeve what did your surgeon say about leaks????


#3 Now I am starting to doubt myself, maybe I do need malobsorption.  I do have diabetes, and though I needed almost no medication after the surgery 6 years ago, it is getting worse and worse. 


Please feel free to give me suggestions and your opinion……  HELP!




Highest /Consult/Pre-Op/Band Surgery/Lowest Band/ VSG Surgery/Current/Goal

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on 2/26/13 4:25 am - Vancouver, WA

Oh there are so, so many others like you with all kinds of band issues. I'm sure they will be along soon. For your questions 1.) Just having the band in there causeing problems can make you feel like that, your body is basically rejecting it. 2.)Many many exbandsters have gotten sleeves with no problem even after severe erosion. With the RNY you will lose the malabsorbtion after a couple of years and quite possibly regain. With the sleeve you will always have the restriction with the RNY not so much because the stretchy part of the stomach is still there. The sleeve removes that stretchy part. Perhaps she could remove the band and clean it up inside if there is scar tissue and such. Then do the sleeve at a later date. There are ways to do it. Personally I wouldn't want the malabsorbtion and have to take so many supplements and vitamins for life. 3.) The sleeve has also helped many diabetics so it is pretty much a draw. Push for what you want and feel comfortable with I wish you all the best and hope all goes smooth for you!

on 2/26/13 7:27 am - Bend, OR

Thanks for your response, kind of what I have been thinking.  I'm just so tired.....

I'm trying to decide if I should call  the surgeon and push for faster, I am starting to feel like I just want this thing out of me!! But, I don't want a second surgery if I dont have to.  I have already had ankle, vein and oral surgery this year and don't want anymore anesthesia if I can help it....


Anyone else chime in here I am open for any and all suggestions.



Highest /Consult/Pre-Op/Band Surgery/Lowest Band/ VSG Surgery/Current/Goal

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Lisa Tucker
on 2/26/13 9:23 pm, edited 2/26/13 9:23 pm - Streator, IL
Revision on 04/19/13

Hi Laurie,

I have just been approved to go from lapband to RNY. I was also banded in Oct. of 07. My Dr. reccomended for me to go to Gastric Bypass, instead of the sleeve. He said that it has the longest life span. I trust him to make the right decision for me. It is up to you to decide what is best for you. We can only tell you what we think.

Good luck,


on 2/27/13 12:27 pm, edited 2/27/13 12:28 pm - Davison, MI

Check out the failed band group!  There are almost as many members in the failed band group as there are band Grads.  My surgeon does the band revision in two surgeries.  I was upset as I wanted in one surgery.  But, after researching and finding out why I was very happy they do that.  They removed the band and than sleeved me 4 months later.  This drastically reduces the chance of leak.  They haven't had any leaks with the band to sleeve revision by doing this. 

When they went into do the sleeve, it took 45 minutes to fix the mess from the band and than they did the sleeve as normal.  No leaks, no issues.

Also with the sleeve if I do need malabsorption, I can go with a DS which has better results than the RNY.  Not that I will I'm to old and this will be my last chance.   I just wish I could have had the band instead of the band in the first place.


BAND REMOVED 9-4-12-fought insurance to get sleeve and won! Sleeved 1/22/13! Five years out and trying to get that last 15 pounds back off.

on 2/28/13 1:23 am - Gilbert, AZ
VSG on 03/04/13
You sound like you have a slip. I have had three surgeries myself. Lapband placed in 2008 Lapband removed and replaced (due to flip and slip) with Realize band in 2011. Port flipped again in 2011 and had another revision. No I am converting to the sleeve on Monday. I was approved in two days for the conversion.
I pass out and am dizzy and tired all the time. I am rarely hungry and sometimes the thought of eating makes me feel sick. I vomit alot I think I have a slip right now as I have started the burping and vomiting cycle again. It is painfull and very embarrasing.

My surgeon is the completly opposite of yours. He says that the Gastric Bypass is much more dangeous because of the scar tissue. He says the sleeve conversion is also dangeous but not as dangeous as the RNY. I also went with his best judgement but was very happy he did not suggest the RNY.

Good Luck and let us know what happens.

 HW 360 Lap Band 4-15-08 (322)  Revision to Realize Band 11-15-11(249)  Revision to Sleeve 3-4-13 (249) CW 189




on 3/2/13 10:06 am - Davison, MI

My surgeon is a revision surgeon and requires the surgery done in two steps.  I have done informal research here and every reason he gave for doing it in two is very real.  People having issues have had it done in one.  I haven't found anybody that had it done in two with a surgeon at a COE have issues.

As I always say, I was mad it was going to take two and am happy it did!

BAND REMOVED 9-4-12-fought insurance to get sleeve and won! Sleeved 1/22/13! Five years out and trying to get that last 15 pounds back off.

cecile babin
on 3/13/13 1:41 pm - Canada
I had band for 2 tears never worked... Slipped took it out. 6 months later got a revision to sleeve but as soon as dr opened me up my even though i qaited 6 months my band had caused too much damage n scar tissue n he had to do rny instead... Im ok with it now in 10 months lost 90 pounds. Good luck hope this helps
Amy Farrah Fowler
on 3/14/13 4:21 am


Besides that, if your surgeon thinks RNY (gastric bypass) would be a good option, then the DS is superior in every way, and your surgeon doesn't do those. Find a surgeon that actually does all of them, and get unbiased advice.

Knowing what I know now, I'd never accept any surgery other than the sleeve (if I needed only restriction, which may be the case if the band was working for you) or the DS if I need the help of mal-absorption. 

The issues from the band shouldn't be an obstacle for a great surgeon to make your stomach into a sleeve whether as a stand alone or part of the DS, but if you allow them to cut it into a pouch for RNY, then all bets are off. You will then be limited to a mere handful of surgeons in the world that can revise from that (and MANY are revising from the RNY, not the DS). 

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